Team Building Tips for Startup Success Business Owners Should Follow
Trying to build a startup from scratch is always an adventure with unpredictable results and no guarantees of success. There are an infinite variety of ways a startup can fail or succeed, and a definitive recipe for success has yet to be written.
However, if we were to search for a common denominator for virtually any startup success story, one thing we would find time and time again would be strong team spirit and a high degree of teamwork.
Why is teamwork important for startups?
Of course, it is true that teamwork plays an important role in the success of any professional organization. However the The importance of teamwork is particularly emphasized in a startup environment..
Most startups start their journey as relatively small teams starting from scratch and competing with established entities that have already seized their own market shares. This position, almost by default, creates a strong underdog, “us versus the world” mentality that can be a powerful unifying factor among team members. A sense of shared purpose and a common goal motivate team members to produce for the team and go the extra mile to achieve shared goals. A tangible and vibrant team identity is what drives dedication to the excellence of their products and services, which often honor successful startups. Ultimately, it is team spirit that drives teams through tough times and helps them overcome their challenges.
While we may instinctively believe that teamwork develops spontaneously and organically, simply bringing people together and letting them interact, that is often not the case. In fact, it is the startup’s leadership (both formal and informal) that sets the tone for the team’s identity.
How to promote teamwork?
The ultimate identity of the team will be largely determined by the combination of individuals that make up the unit. Therefore, you will most likely want to modify your approach to encourage teamwork to suit the personalities of the team members. However, there are a number of proven and universally applicable best practices that build a strong team spirit and form a strong collegial bond between colleagues. We’ll dedicate the following lines and focus on some of the key principles and practical actions that startup founders and team leaders can use to create a strong foundation for a team-driven environment.
1. Be the change you want to see
At each start-up, especially those in its initial and formative stages, team members will look to leadership for clues on how to act. This includes everything from operating procedures to the overview and all the way down to general attitudes towards others and the job itself. Whether directly or indirectly, leaders and other influential team members set an example for everyone else. It is very relevant to actively demonstrate the behavior and attitudes that you want to see in others to support the values and vision on which the startup is built.
In the context of teamwork, it means being a good player: treating others with respect and honesty, communicating openly, and allowing other voices to be heard.
2. Assign work clearly and fairly
Teamwork can only work if everyone understands what they are supposed to do. A clear and well structured division of roles and responsibilities should be a top management priority from the start. While startups are largely defined by innovation and improvisation, they also need a high degree of operational and procedural clarity to get the job done. Balancing these two opposites is a delicate art, but it must begin with a clear definition of individual roles. Remember: ambiguity is the enemy of productivity.
Further, Leaders must pay attention to a fair and even distribution of duties.. Teamwork works best when team members feel like everyone is contributing to the common goal, and having team members with markedly different workloads can only create friction.
3. Be transparent and encourage open communication
Startups are not limited by the constraints of the traditional organizational hierarchy, which is great news for teamwork. Leaders must use this greater degree of informality to their advantage by avoiding some of the downsides of organizational hierarchy, such as levels of information and one-way communication that only goes from the top down.
Be open and transparent when sharing all relevant information about company plans and activities, and encourage two-way communication. By including team members in the planning and decision-making processes, you make them feel valued and respected, as well as more interested in the results of working together. Employees who participate in company activities will also have a higher degree of motivation to contribute to the success of the team.
In practical terms, it also means equipping the team with all the necessary communication tools that allow different communication channels and, at the same time, promote transparency and inclusion. Weather collaboration tools/ solutions like Loose Y Microsoft Teams are ubiquitous, you can also find free alternatives like Pumble that will cover the needs of the team without reducing the budget.
4. Be quick to resolve disputes
Good teams are distinguished not by avoiding conflict, but by how they respond to it. Differences of opinion and personality clashes are inevitable in any collective setting. Rather than letting things simmer or shoving them under the rug, it is important to resolve them in a timely, respectful, and constructive manner. While many disagreements can be resolved directly and spontaneously, it is important to install clear procedures for conflict resolution in case tensions escalate.
5. Celebrate the team and its achievements
If you have something good, rate it! Whether we are talking about individual contributions, team efforts and achievements, or the bonds built from shared experiences, it is important to acknowledge and acknowledge the things that matter.
We all want to feel valuable and valued, especially if we are deeply committed to our work. Recognition can take many forms and forms, and does not necessarily have to be financially rewarding (although it is rarely unwelcome). The key here is to invest enough in team activities to be able to identify any significant individual and collective contributions. This investment grade will also allow you to know your team well enough to discover the best way to recognize and reward efforts.
Finally, the strongest motivators for teamwork come from the bonds that are formed between team members. These bonds will grow from day-to-day interactions, but you can further nurture them by designing team building events and allowing team members to interact outside of the immediate professional context. In other words, it’s never a bad idea to party!
To conclude, team spirit and team identity are highly influenced by the actions and attitudes of leaders and influencers. If we want to foster a strong and vibrant teamwork spirit, we must begin by embedding those values in all aspects of operations and demonstrating them through concrete actions.
– The article is written by Marija Kojic, researcher and writer specialized in communication and team collaboration. He likes to help people discover meaningful and effective ways to communicate and collaborate more intelligently.
Image courtesy of Pixabay